About

Photo by Steve Roberts
My name is Emily Tickle Thomas and I had cancer. I was diagnosed with oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in 2007 while pregnant with my 4th son. I was referred to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas by my doctor in Memphis. 


I had successful surgery at MD Anderson and still return there for checkups regularly. 


On that first trip to Houston, friends of ours arranged for a gift card to be waiting for us at a popular Mexican restaurant, Pappasitos, in Houston. For good luck, we made sure we ate there on every subsequent visit to Houston. To this day, that simple gesture of kindness and generosity stands out in my mind more than any of the 2 years' worth of CT scans and doctor's appointments. Today, I am a healthy wife and mother to 4 sons. My hope is that through this endeavor, other cancer patients will remember a bright spot along their journey.


CCX Board
January 2014
Jennifer Alpard is a Physicians Assistant in the Head and Neck Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. She and her husband Scott also created The Cade R. Alpard Foundation for Pediatric Liver Disease in 2003 in honor of their son. Jennifer was part of Emily Thomas' medical team at MD Anderson. She is a dedicated runner who uses her passion for marathon running for heartfelt fundraising. 
Laura Barnett is dedicated to serving the Memphis community as much as she is to her husband, Sam, and their 11 year old triplets. She is an active volunteer in her church, her children's school as well as the LeBonheur Club which supports LeBonheur Children's Hospital.
Mike Carpenter is the Executive Director of the Plough Foundation. Mike is also a former Shelby County Commissioner and past Executive Director of the West Tennessee Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. Mike and his wife Mary Ann have four children.
Dr. Dean Klug, a respected physician with Midsouth Ear Nose and Throat in Memphis, was part of Emily Thomas’ medical team during her cancer treatment and has also treated her 4 children. Dr. Klug received his M.D. from the University of Arkansas in 1988. He is Board certified with The American Board of Otolaryngology/ Head and Neck Surgery.
Lee Still is a Senior Vice President at Sun Trust Bank in Memphis. He takes an active role in working to make the Memphis community better through his involvement at his family's church, Chair of the Small Business Council of the Greater Memphis Chamber and as the Chairman of the Board of the Memphis Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes.